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How to Choose an Accredited RN Program near Paradise Valley Arizona

Paradise Valley Arizona RN checking patient with stethoscopeFinding the best nursing school near Paradise Valley AZ may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you aren't sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first cover the nursing degree options that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Paradise Valley Arizona RN reading blodd pressure of elderly female patient

Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Paradise Valley AZ hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master's Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing School Degree Options

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Paradise Valley AZ area.

  • Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Arizona board of nursing for any state mandates.

Online Nursing Programs

Paradise Valley Arizona RN holding health fileAttending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some Paradise Valley AZ students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Why Enter the Nursing Profession?

Nurses are an indispensable component of a Paradise Valley AZ medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, such as nursing homes, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.

What to Ask Nursing Courses

RN reading with Paradise Valley Arizona assisted living patientNow that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Paradise Valley AZ or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.  Also, many Paradise Valley AZ area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Paradise Valley AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Paradise Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Paradise Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Find Out More About Enrolling in Nursing Training in Paradise Valley

Enroll in the Right Arizona RN College

Picking the right nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Paradise Valley Arizona.


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